Title Title
List of key reforms of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General List of key reforms of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
Summary Summary
WikiTribune community is tracking what Sessions has done, while the Russian probe grabs the headlines WikiTribune community is tracking what Sessions has done, while the Russian probe grabs the headlines
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<b>When Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe on March 16, it drew rare praise from President Donald J. Trump. Trump has previously insulted Sessions on multiple occasions on Twitter for recusing himself from the FBI’s Russian probe. </b> <b>When Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe on March 16, it drew rare praise from President Donald J. Trump. Trump has previously insulted Sessions on multiple occasions on Twitter for recusing himself from the FBI’s Russian probe. </b>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">McCabe's termination comes a day after FBI’s Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, subpoenaed the <a href="https://www.trump.com/">Trump Organization</a> in an investigation that </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/us/politics/andrew-mccabe-fbi-fired.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">McCabe believes will call him to testify</span></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">(New York Times). </span></i> <span style="font-weight: 400;">McCabe's termination comes a day after FBI’s Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, subpoenaed the <a href="https://www.trump.com/">Trump Organization</a> in an investigation that </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/us/politics/andrew-mccabe-fbi-fired.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">McCabe believes will call him to testify</span></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">(New York Times). </span></i>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Sessions has faced an unusual amount of controversy in his short tenure in the Justice Department. He currently finds himself tied to the Russian probe despite efforts to keep his distance, <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/344165-timeline-how-the-trump-and-sessions-relationship-deteriorated">while struggling to maintain a working relationship</a> with the White House (The Hill). </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Sessions has faced an unusual amount of controversy in his short tenure in the Justice Department. He currently finds himself tied to the Russian probe despite efforts to keep his distance, <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/344165-timeline-how-the-trump-and-sessions-relationship-deteriorated">while struggling to maintain a working relationship</a> with the White House (The Hill). </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Yet Sessions remains Attorney General despite internal tensions in the administration. WikiTribune will be compiling a list of reforms that he's made, or plans to accomplish while leading the Justice Department. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Yet Sessions remains Attorney General despite internal tensions in the administration. WikiTribune will be compiling a list of reforms that he's made, or plans to accomplish while leading the Justice Department. </span>
<h2>Prison matters</h2> <h2>Prison matters</h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li><b>Bringing back “private prisons”</b></li>  <li><b>Bringing back “private prisons”</b></li>
</ul> </ul>
<b>Reform: </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reversed the <a href="https://www.bop.gov/resources/news/20170224_doj_memo.jsp">Obama-era policy that banned privately-run</a> correctional facilities for inmates who committed federal crimes.</span> <b>Reform: </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reversed the <a href="https://www.bop.gov/resources/news/20170224_doj_memo.jsp">Obama-era policy that banned privately-run</a> correctional facilities for inmates who committed federal crimes.</span>
<b>Why it matters:</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Sessions said that <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-prisons/u-s-reverses-obama-era-move-to-phase-out-private-prisons-idUSKBN1622NN">private prisons are needed</a> to meet the growing number of prisoners. While the<a href="http://www.uscourts.gov/news/2017/04/25/policy-shifts-reduce-federal-prison-population"> federal prison population is declining</a>, according to U.S. Courts, his comments may reflect plans to implement policy that could result in a higher incarceration rate. In May 2017,<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/12/jeff-sessions-prison-sentences-obama-criminal-justice"> Sessions directed federal prosecutors</a> to pursue the most severe charges where possible, reversing an Obama directive to treat non-violent drug offenses with a lighter prosecutorial hand <em>(Guardian). </em></span> <b>Why it matters:</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Sessions said that <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-prisons/u-s-reverses-obama-era-move-to-phase-out-private-prisons-idUSKBN1622NN">private prisons are needed</a> to meet the growing number of prisoners. While the<a href="http://www.uscourts.gov/news/2017/04/25/policy-shifts-reduce-federal-prison-population"> federal prison population is declining</a>, according to U.S. Courts, his comments may reflect plans to implement policy that could result in a higher incarceration rate. In May 2017,<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/12/jeff-sessions-prison-sentences-obama-criminal-justice"> Sessions directed federal prosecutors</a> to pursue the most severe charges where possible, reversing an Obama directive to treat non-violent drug offenses with a lighter prosecutorial hand <em>(Guardian). </em></span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Private prisons tend to invest less in prison staff and lack rehabilitative services, according to a <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/es_20161021_private_prisons_economics.pdf">2016 study from Brookings, a liberal-leaning think tank. </a></span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Private prisons tend to invest less in prison staff and lack rehabilitative services, according to a <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/es_20161021_private_prisons_economics.pdf">2016 study from Brookings, a liberal-leaning think tank. </a></span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Got a fact or something to add?" buttons="edit"]</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Got a fact or something to add?" buttons="edit"]</span>
<h2><b>Immigration</b></h2> <h2><b>Immigration</b></h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Ending “administrative closures”</strong> </span></li>  <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Ending “administrative closures”</strong> </span></li>
</ul> </ul>
<span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Reform:</strong> </span><a href="https://www.apnews.com/9ce3e704a0c6457a958d410f001f0f22"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ended the ability of immigration judges</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the country when there was no formal decision on their legal case. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Reform:</strong> </span><a href="https://www.apnews.com/9ce3e704a0c6457a958d410f001f0f22"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ended the ability of immigration judges</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the country when there was no formal decision on their legal case. </span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Why it matters:</strong> Could make an additional </span><a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/05/sessions-to-review-docket-practice-used-by-immigration-judges-to-set-aside-cases-indefinitely.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">350,000 </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">undocumented immigrants on administrative closures vulnerable to deportation </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">(Fox News). </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Immigration hardliners see administrative closures as de facto amnesty, by allowing undocumented immigrants to stay while their case is being decided. In one case, Sessions personally tried an administrative closure case.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Why it matters:</strong> Could make an additional </span><a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/05/sessions-to-review-docket-practice-used-by-immigration-judges-to-set-aside-cases-indefinitely.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">350,000 </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">undocumented immigrants on administrative closures vulnerable to deportation </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">(Fox News). </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Immigration hardliners see administrative closures as de facto amnesty, by allowing undocumented immigrants to stay while their case is being decided. In one case, Sessions personally tried an administrative closure case.</span>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Got a fact or something to add?" buttons="edit"]</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Got a fact or something to add?" buttons="edit"]</span>
<h2>Drug war</h2> <h2>Drug war</h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li><strong>Crackdown on cannabis </strong></li>   <li><strong>Crackdown on cannabis </strong>
  <ul>
   <li><strong>Reform:</strong> <a href="https://www.apnews.com/19f6bfec15a74733b40eaf0ff9162bfa">Reversed the Obama administration's policy</a> that permitted states to experiment with cannabis laws. <em>Federal</em> authorities are now able to arrest and charge distributors of cannabis even where the practice is legal by <em>state</em> law.</li>
   <li><strong>Why it matters:</strong> Cannabis is classified as a <a href="https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/">Schedule I narcotic by the U.S. Justice Department</a>, the category of the most illegal substances. Yet <a href="https://www.vox.com/cards/marijuana-legalization/where-is-marijuana-legal">recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in nine states</a>, and Washington D.C. Several other states allow growing cannabis for personal use, others have regulated medical sale <em>(Vox). </em>Under Obama, these states were assured that the federal authorities would not pursue them. <a href="https://www.apnews.com/19f6bfec15a74733b40eaf0ff9162bfa">Sessions has rescinded this policy</a>, making newly established marijuana dispensaries vulnerable to prosecution. Sessions has said that marijuana is <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/magazine/where-pot-entrepreneurs-go-when-the-banks-just-say-no.html">“only slightly less awful” than heroin</a> and considers the plant root of many of society’s ills (<em>New York Times</em>). However, faces opposition from the general public as well as other Republicans such as Republican Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of the states where cannabis has been legalized. Not only does selling marijuana violate federal law; handling the proceeds of any marijuana transaction is considered to be money laundering. Very few banks are willing to bear that risk causing businesses difficulty in operating (<em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/magazine/where-pot-entrepreneurs-go-when-the-banks-just-say-no.html">New York Times</a></em>).</li>
  </ul>
  </li>
</ul> </ul>
<strong>Reform:</strong> <a href="https://www.apnews.com/19f6bfec15a74733b40eaf0ff9162bfa">Reversed the Obama administration's policy</a> that permitted states to experiment with cannabis laws. <em>Federal</em> authorities are now able to arrest and charge distributors of cannabis even where the practice is legal by <em>state</em> law.  
<strong>Why it matters:</strong> Cannabis is classified as a <a href="https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/">Schedule I narcotic by the U.S. Justice Department</a>, the category of the most illegal substances. Yet <a href="https://www.vox.com/cards/marijuana-legalization/where-is-marijuana-legal">recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in nine states</a>, and Washington D.C. Several other states allow growing cannabis for personal use, others have regulated medical sale <em>(Vox). </em>Under Obama, these states were assured that the federal authorities would not pursue them. <a href="https://www.apnews.com/19f6bfec15a74733b40eaf0ff9162bfa">Sessions has rescinded this policy</a>, making newly established marijuana dispensaries vulnerable to prosecution. Sessions has said that marijuana is <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/magazine/where-pot-entrepreneurs-go-when-the-banks-just-say-no.html">“only slightly less awful” than heroin</a> and considers the plant root of many of society’s ills (<em>New York Times</em>). However, he faces opposition from the general public as well as other Republicans such as Republican Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of the states where cannabis has been legalized. Not only does selling marijuana violate federal law; handling the proceeds of any marijuana transaction is considered to be money laundering. Very few banks are willing to bear that risk causing businesses difficulty in operating (<em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/magazine/where-pot-entrepreneurs-go-when-the-banks-just-say-no.html">New York Times</a></em>).  
<h2><b>Policing</b></h2> <h2><b>Policing</b></h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li><strong>Reviewing “consent decrees”</strong></li>   <li><strong>Reviewing “consent decrees”</strong>
  <ul>
   <li><b style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">Reform:</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> The DOJ </span><a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="https://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/03/politics/sessions-police-reform-review/">reviewing all “consent decrees,” </a><span style="font-weight: 400;">deals where the federal government evaluates in local police departments (CNN).</span></li>
   <li><b style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">Why it matters: </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">After accusations of police brutality — particularly towards African-Americans — consent decrees were seen as a tool to retrain local law enforcement. Sessions said that they </span><a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="https://soundcloud.com/user-212797670/sessions">reduce police morale and hinder “broken windows” </a><span style="font-weight: 400;">policing, the practice of cracking down on vandalism and other minor offenses under the belief that these non-violent crimes lead to more serious offenses </span><i style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">(CNN).</i></li>
  </ul>
  </li>
</ul> </ul>
<b style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">Reform:</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> The DOJ </span><a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="https://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/03/politics/sessions-police-reform-review/">reviewing all “consent decrees,” </a><span style="font-weight: 400;">deals where the federal government evaluates in local police departments (CNN).</span>  
<b style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">Why it matters: </b><span style="font-weight: 400;">After accusations of police brutality — particularly towards African-Americans — consent decrees were seen as a tool to retrain local law enforcement. Sessions said that they </span><a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;" href="https://soundcloud.com/user-212797670/sessions">reduce police morale and hinder “broken windows” </a><span style="font-weight: 400;">policing, the practice of cracking down on vandalism and other minor offenses under the belief that these non-violent crimes lead to more serious offenses </span><i style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;">(CNN).</i>  
<span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Got a fact or something to add?" buttons="edit"]</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Got a fact or something to add?" buttons="edit"]</span>
<em>Help us list the things Jeff Sessions has done during his tenure. Add info via EDIT STORY or offer a suggestion via TALK</em> <em>Help us list the things Jeff Sessions has done during his tenure. Add info via EDIT STORY or offer a suggestion via TALK</em>
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